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      Biosphere Reserve Information

United States of America


  General Description   Situated west of Los Angeles, the Channel Islands Biosphere Reserve represents one of the last examples of natural Mediterranean ecosystems in North America and some of the few remaining natural southern California coastal ecosystems. Characteristic features are coastal sage scrub communities on the islands and exceptionally pristine tidepools on the marine terraces surrounding them.
All of the islands have been altered to a greater or lesser extent by human activities, including fires, farming and livestock grazing, fishing and numerous house and road constructions. Many dominant plant species have been introduced as well as animals such as black rat (Rattus rattus) and European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus). Manipulative research on exotic plants and animals is underway to determine their impacts and to develop effective management actions to eliminate their impacts. Unregulated tourism on the islands is another management problem.
The Channel Islands National Park, which is situated within the biosphere reserve, maintains a visitor center and there are numerous educational programmes available. The local communities participate in management decisions through public workshops and hearings and a local Fish and Game Commission.
  Major ecosystem type   Evergreen sclerophyllous woodland including coastal/marine component. Nearshore and offshore marine, kelp forest, offshore rocks.
  Major habitats & land cover types   Eight islands to FIVE Islands and marine sanctuary
  Location   3327' to 3404'N; 11901' to 12026'W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   479,652
  Core area(s)  
  Buffer zone(s)  
  Transition area(s) when given  
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   0 to +741
  Year designated   1976
  Administrative authorities   State of California/California Dept. of Fish and Game. Dept. of Interior/National Park Service/Channel Islands National Park. Dept. of Commerce/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.

Last updated: 26/02/2007

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